CTA takes pride in character education in their 300 students. The November character trait they focused on was Kindness and they have rolled what they learned into December – a month where there is much need for kindness and giving.
“The ‘CTA Way’ is being demonstrated in many ways this month,” shared Dean of Students Autumn Mattson. “We strive daily to instill the core value that all of our students can change the world. We are so proud of who our staff and students have chosen to give their time, energy and support to throughout the community during this holiday season. “
Toys For Tots and Coin Drive
The largest project of the season was the school-wide Toys for Tots toy drive combined with a coin drive. The initiative is in its 4th year at CTA. Each class competed to raise the most “positive” change – pennies counted as positive and silver and dollars counted as negative. The kindergarten class raised the most with more than $52 “positive” dollars and the school as a whole raised more than $800. All of the funds raised during the coin drive were donated to the Toys for Tots campaign to be used to purchase additional gifts for children throughout southwest Michigan. The school also served as a WZZM 13 Toys for Tots drop off location and collected 78 toys from students and the community. Kindergarten teacher Lauren Bostic, who assisted in coordinating the Toys for Tots projects shared, “Our hope is that these students will look outside of themselves to see that there is a great need in the community and the world and that other children may not enjoy the ‘luxuries’ they are used to – such as gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.” The coin drive has been going on for more than 4 years and previously the funds went to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Spreading Cheer To Those Who Serve
All of the Social Studies classes in the High School wrote Christmas and holiday cards to send to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans – a long-term care facility for veterans which provides support, health services, clothing, living facilities and necessities. Some cards were handcrafted while others were store-bought, but all of the 80-plus cards that were written expressed gratitude to the servicemen and women for their service and sacrifice to our country. Cards were also written to a group of Southfield-based Army reserve soldiers who are currently deployed in Afghanistan for 10 months. “I wanted to provide the students with an opportunity to be an encouragement to others during the holiday season,” shared Shellie Chilcote, long-term Social Studies substitute teacher whose daughter and son-in-law are both currently serving in the reserves. “We have so much to be thankful for in our country. These veterans and active-duty soldiers have all made great sacrifices that ensure the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Charger Basketball Teams Food Drive
Thirty pounds of food have been collected to date by the boys and girls basketball teams to benefit Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids – and they are still going until Dec. 19. The boys and girls teams are competing against each other in a food drive and it’s all based on food weight. “Our athletes are truly appreciative of the things that they have received from their families and hope to give back to the community,” shared girls basketball coach Steve Washington. “One of our lady Chargers saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness, serve our community and have fun competing with the guys team as well.”